The last year for Jagriti has been very successful, and we are delighted with how our projects are expanding, as we take on more schools and also make great improvements to our existing schools. 3 further schools, all government secondary schools, have been adopted by Jagriti, taking in a total of 1000 children, with the hope to add 300 more children by the end of June 2017. In our existing 11 schools, we hope to add 400 children in 2017. We started with 30 children in 1 school, and now support 2700 children across 11 schools! That’s 2700 children receiving a uniform, a midday meal and in school.
We have made further improvements to our adopted schools, with emphasis on toilet blocks, playground and greenery and cleanliness across all schools. We are also ensuring between 10 and 20 computers are available in all schools, and of course we ensure electricity connections are in every school. We also continue to provide a medical health check to each of our pupils twice a year, as well as dental treatment. Special attention is given to any children suffering malnutrition, with both nutrition and prescribed medicine, and those requiring dental treatment are referred to the dental hospital, with the cost covered by Jagriti. Regular yoga and fitness classes are held at all our schools.
All the pupils at the schools delight in receiving visitors, from a group from the Colourful Life Foundation to Directors of The Bank of India, and all the visitors leave notes in our guestbook detailing their fantastic experiences.
We have also developed a Vocational Training Center in order to teach skills in the fields of stitching, tailoring, beauty and mahendi to women of the slum, so that they are able to get employment or start their own business. So far we have trained 331 ladies, all of whom are either self-employed or associated with Beauty Parlors or Boutiques and are getting good salaries and thus supporting their household expenses.
The center at the Balika Sadan School is to be upgraded with new sewing machines, and we are also starting a new center at Jagriti Gyan Vidhya Mandir School, Sanagner, which will serve the female inhabitants of the nearby Dadabari slum.
15 of our top achievers visited New Dehli in February, experiencing their first ever flight and train ride. Another group of our children performed at the city palace in Jaipur, receiving a standing ovation for their amazing dance performance from Princess Mrs Diya Kumari.
Regarding academic performance, the first batch of our 10th class/grade performed excellently in the Secondary School Examination, conducted by Rajasthan Secondary Education Board, where four students achieved a 1st division result, and 2 got distinctions.
Art students at our Sanganer School can now start their 11th class/grade, and the Science students have been admitted to a renowned school in Jaipur – with fees covered by Jagriti in accordance with our commitment of being with our students forever
In the last year, Jagriti has been honoured with several awards, in date order:
International Vaish Federation awarded Jagriti for its outstanding contribution in transforming the lives of underprivileged children by educating them and making a huge difference in their lives (30th May 2016); Bhamashah Award by Government of Rajasthan (28th June 2016); Highest State Civilian Award for Excellence in Social Service by our Chief Minister Mrs Vasundhra Raje Scindia (15th August 2016); State Award on Cleanliness “Swachh Bharat Award” by our Chief Minister Mrs Vasundhra Raje Scindia (22nd December 2016); Bhamashah Award and Swacch Bahrat Award by Maheshwari Samaj (3rd February 2016); Jagriti adopted Govt Primary School, Sahkar Marg has been awarded with cleanest school under Govt of India’s “Swacch Bharat Swacch Vidhyalaya” school; and Government of Rajasthan has given Certificate of Excellence to our adopted Govt Primary School, Badarwas.
The past year has highlighted our growth both in terms of taking on new schools and developing our existing schools, and the school children’s experience in them. We are delighted with the recognition we have received from the government and other awarding bodies, but also the confidence and academic achievements gained by the students. The support from The Colourful Life Foundation is crucial in this, and we look forward to what we could achieve next!
Thank you to Jai Krishan Jajoo, Jagriti Founder, for the information.
Words by Sian Smith